IID initiates socio-economic development in Chin State
13 December 2013: The Institute for International Development (IID) said that it has started a new regional economic and social development programme in Chin State, in place since last month.
It said that the 9-month programme, funded by the Danish government through DANIDA (Danish development assistance programmes) and UNICEF, aims to develop a ‘Comprehensive Development and Local Social Plan’ for Chin State.
A recent IID statement re-affirmed Chin State’s status as the country’s poorest state with ‘little infrastructure, food shortage and a high unemployment rate leading to outmigration.’
It also said that the people had had little opportunity of contributing to their state’s economic development as the top-down decision-making practices were still in place.
“By using an inclusive engagement process and community participation, social groups within the state are now given the opportunity to contribute to the development of a plan that defines people’s needs and reflects the solutions identified as most important to them,” it added.
Late last month, it organized a project-opening workshop in Hakha, Chin State in which Chin State Chief Minister U Hung Ngai, members of Chin the State government, representatives of the Chin National Front (CNF) and Chin civil society organizations attended.
Joern Kristensen, Director of IID, said: “By coordinating activities with people in Chin State, a more sustainable, participatory and holistic approach is possible.”
He welcomed the attendance of both the State government and CNC members, highlighting that it was ‘another important step in the peace process’.
The statement said that it was believed to be the first time that the government and a former rebel group participated together in planning economic and social development for the people they represented.
“We hope the process can provide an example to be followed by other ceasefire groups” said Joern Kristensen.
The IID said that it has already set up two liaison offices in Hakha and Mindat towns.
The plans will be developed through a bottom-up participatory planning process, conducted in Chin State between November 2013 and June 2014.
The Institute for International Development, associated with the international IID network, is a not-for-profit research and development organization, focusing on Economic and Social development in a broad sense, including also education and health.#